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Data Series 888

EAARL-B Coastal Topography—Fire Island, New York, Pre-Hurricane Sandy, 2012: Seamless (Bare Earth and Submerged)

By C. Wayne Wright, Christine J. Kranenburg, Emily S. Klipp, Rodolfo J. Troche, Xan Fredericks, Melanie L. Masessa, and David B. Nagle

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (10.4 MB)Summary

These remotely sensed, geographically referenced elevation measurements of lidar-derived seamless (bare-earth and submerged) topography datasets were produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, St. Petersburg, Florida.

This project provides highly detailed and accurate datasets for part of Fire Island, New York, acquired pre-Hurricane Sandy on October 27, 2012. The datasets are made available for use as a management tool to research scientists and natural-resource managers. An innovative airborne lidar, known as the second-generation Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL-B), was used during data acquisition. The EAARL-B system is a raster-scanning, waveform-resolving, green-wavelength (532-nm) lidar designed to map near-shore bathymetry, topography, and vegetation structure simultaneously. The EAARL-B sensor suite includes the raster-scanning, water-penetrating full-waveform adaptive lidar, down-looking red-green-blue (RGB) and infrared (IR) digital cameras, two precision dual-frequency kinematic carrier-phase GPS receivers, and an integrated miniature digital inertial measurement unit, which provide for sub-meter georeferencing of each laser sample. The nominal EAARL-B platform is a twin-engine Cessna 310 aircraft, but the instrument may be deployed on a range of light aircraft. A single pilot, a lidar operator, and a data analyst constitute the crew for most survey operations. This sensor has the potential to make significant contributions in measuring sub-aerial and submarine coastal topography within cross-environmental surveys.

Elevation measurements were collected over the survey area using the EAARL-B system. The resulting data were then processed using the Airborne Lidar Processing System (ALPS), a custom-built processing system developed originally in a NASA-USGS collaboration. The exploration and processing of lidar data in an interactive or batch mode is supported using ALPS. Modules for presurvey flight-line definition, flight-path plotting, lidar raster and waveform investigation, and digital camera image playback have been developed. Processing algorithms have been developed to extract the range to the first and last significant return within each waveform. The Airborne Lidar Processing System (ALPS) is used routinely to create maps that represent submerged or sub-aerial topography. Specialized filtering algorithms have been implemented to determine the "bare earth" under vegetation from a point cloud of last return elevations.

For more information about similar projects, please visit the Lidar for Science and Resource Management Web site.

First posted November 4, 2014

For additional information, contact:
St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
600 Fourth Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701-4846
(727) 502–8000

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Suggested citation:

Wright, C.W., Kranenburg, C.J., Klipp, E.S., Troche, R.J., Fredericks, Xan, Masessa, M.L., and Nagle, D.B., 2014, EAARL-B coastal topography—Fire Island, New York, pre-Hurricane Sandy, 2012; seamless (bare earth and submerged): U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 888,

ISSN 2327–638X (online)






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